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This book examines the Russian conquest of the ancient Central Asian khanates of Bukhara and Khiva in the 1860s and 1870s, and the relationship between Russia and the territories until their extinction as political entities in 1924. It shows how Russia's approach developed from one of non-intervention, with the primary aim of preventing British expansion from India into the region, to one of increasing intervention as trade and Russian settlement grew. It goes on to discuss the role of Bukhara and Khiva in the First World War and the Russian Revolution, and how the region was fundamentally changed following the Bolshevik conquest in 1919-20.
The book is a re-issue of a highly regarded classic originally published in 1968 and out of print for some years. The new version includes a new introduction, some corrections of errors, and a survey of new work undertaken since first publication.